Title: Akazukin
Author: Seraphim Grace
Rating: R
Series: Weiss Kreuz
Pairings: MamoruxNagi
Notes: In the Dramatic Precious time line just before Gluhen. Probably during till after Dreamless life.
Summary Saijou gives his grandson a companion to help him with his transition

Once there was a kind woman who loved her daughter very much. One day after she had finished her baking she called her daughter and asked her to bring fresh bread, some honey and a jug of cream to her grandmother in the forest. The girl set off with a song in her heart but on the way she met a Bzou, which she didn't know was a wolf in man's clothing.

Tsukiyono castle was a beautiful mix of old and new. It was a vast wooden castle on a variegated stone base with beautiful cultured gardens tended by Sano and Uno, Saijou's female servants. Omi was surprised by how at home he felt in this castle with its ancient screens and modern appliances. He sometimes felt guilty that he had abandoned Weiss when it seemed that they needed him. His grandfather had put aside everything that he did for him, although he would not call him Omi, calling him Mamoru- the name that he had rejected.
The concept of family was new and wondrous to him, and although sometimes Sano and Uno treated him with more familiarity than he felt was necessary, although Saijou assured him that they were to be like sisters to him, Omi felt at home, though sometimes overwhelmed.
The emptiness of the vast castle was such a change from the cramped confines of the mobile flower shop. It was strange at night listening to the sound of silence as opposed to Ken's snoring, Aya's slow exhalations and Yohji's occasional coughing wheeze in his sleep. The air smelt crisp and wintry unlike the hot, humid flower stench that was mixed with petrol fumes and nicotine. He sprawled out in his wide western style bed and sometimes when he woke up in the middle of the night his fingers searched for Ken who shared the mobile shop's double bed with him, Yohji took the single bunk and Aya had a futon on the floor. They lived on top of each other and had for the last year and now this much space dwarfed him.
Saijou was kind and patient, when he told him, "I know," Saijou said, "you need a companion," he said looking at his grandson, "someone your own age. I know just the boy." And Omi was grateful, it would be nice, he thought, to have someone to talk to about normal boy things, it would be the first step, he thought, to becoming a normal boy himself.

The bzou was handsome and stopped her on her way and asked her where she was going with the basket under her arm and a song in her heart, and what it was that she had in her basket because the bzou was very hungry as he had not eaten in three days.
The girl smiled for him and told him that she was going to her grandmother's house because her grandmother was ill and she was bringing her some bread fresh from the oven with some honey and some cream to eat with it.

Saijou's gift to him was a companion with sad solemn eyes and dark hair, he was sullen and dark and quiet and Omi knew him as the Schwarz Prodigy Nagi. He sat at the western style dining table, his dark hair shining by candlelight as Sano and Uno flitted about him, unashamed as Omi entered. He had grown in the past year, he was still sylph like but taller now than Omi, and his hair was pulled down over one eye. He matched his gaze fearlessly. "Mamoru," Saijou said standing up from his chair at the head of the table, "this is Naoe Nagi, after some thought I thought it best that I find someone your own age with whom you need to keep no secrets. He is also best suited to be your bodyguard."
"Mamoru-sama," Nagi said in a voice as silky as his hair, "I am honoured to join your service."
"You're Schwarz," Omi said, his hand flitting at his waist looking for darts that were no longer there.
"Schwarz is no more." Nagi replied, lifting his chop sticks to begin his meal, "Kritiker approached me to serve you when you take up the mantle of Persia." Omi boggled at that and the calm way that Nagi treated him, he treated him with absolutely no emotion. The boy was beautiful, with pale skin and huge deep eyes, but he was cold and untouchable. Omi suspected that Saijou had chosen him partly for his beauty. Omi had rejected the embrace of both Sano and Uno, perhaps Saijou sought to bind him to him with something he considered better suited to his tastes.
He squashed the thought. Saijou had been nothing less than open and honest to him. He had treated him like family, giving him answers to any question that Omi asked. "You are my family," Saijou had said, "and you are all I have left, I would deny you nothing."
"I have arranged," Saijou said, "that Naoe has apartments adjoining your own, I hope that the two of you will quickly become friends. I'm sure that you will understand, as the Takatori heir, that he accompanies you everywhere."

The bzou smiled his most charming smile, "I also am going to meet your grandmother, for she and I are old friends." When he smiled he showed his teeth which were very sharp, "there are two paths," he said, "the path of needles and the path of pins, which will you take?"
The girl told him that she would take the path of needles.

Nagi was shameless and silent. He would rise several times in the night, sliding open the pocket door as quietly as he could to check on Omi. It invariably woke him up and in the moonlight he would see the slim boy's white skin and his whiter briefs, because it was all he slept in. His hair was a dark shadow and he knew Omi watched him. He expected nothing less.
He was like a shimmering marble statue like those in the garden, the beautiful boys in risqué poses that Saijou collected almost carelessly. Sometimes, in just his briefs he would sit in the corner with a hooded lantern, which perfectly suited the ancient room, and would read from the hard bound books he took from the library. More than once he fell asleep with the book in his hands and only woke when Omi took a blanket from the futon cupboard and draped it around his shoulders. Then Nagi would open those frozen eyes, those eyes that looked like shattered blue glass, and in his soft silky voice, a voice as silky as his hair, thanked him.
It was strange though, how the image of Nagi's skin would not leave him when he returned to his bed, and he wondered if it was as silky as voice.

The bzou smiled his toothy grin and said that he would take the path of pins and that they would see who reached there first.
They both set off but the bzou was faster than the little girl and reached grandmother's house first where he quickly set upon the old woman and gobbled her up flesh, blood and bone - leaving only a piece of meat which he covered with herbs and honey and set on a plate, and some blood which he drained into a little bottle and corked it shut. Then he gathered up the old lady's shawl and cap and put them on himself, before he climbed into her bed.

Nagi was a patient and silent creature who lurked behind him without ever saying a word. He wore a long black coat and wore his hair pulled down over one eye. Even when asked for his opinion he gave short simple answers and the more time he spent with him the more he wanted Nagi to answer him. He wanted Nagi to tell him about the books that he took from Saijou's library. He wanted Nagi to tell him about the food he ate. The solemn eyed young man remained silent.
He went online on the state of the art computer and bought gifts for Nagi and Sano and Uno for their kindnesses to him, although Saijou assured him that he did not need to. He bought Sano and Uno fine clothes, dresses to suit their colouring for when Saijou threw his inevitable parties, but for Nagi, his silent shadow, he bought him a coat of dark red wool that he knew would suit the young man, with a thick hood trimmed in silver fur.
Nagi looked surprised when he accepted the parcel, running the thick weave of the coat under his fingers and the soft lining of the fur, it looked as if he might cry such was his shock. His voice was tremulous and quiet as he looked up, and his eyes looked like they were made of shattered blue glass when he said "thank you."

When the girl arrived at the cottage he called to her to lift the latch and to come inside for she was tired and did not wish to leave her bed. The girl did so and told her grandmother that her mother had sent her with bread and honey and cream for her.
"Are you hungry, child?" The bzou asked her.
"I am, grandmother." The girl answered.
"There is a plate of meat in the kitchen on the shelf, you may cook and eat it if you are hungry."
So the girl went to but a cat in the window piped up, "do not eat that meat for you are eating the flesh of your grandmother."
The girl repeated to the bzou what the cat had told her and the bzou told her to take her shoe and to throw it at the cat for it was a liar. So she did and ate the meat.

When Nagi travelled with Omi into the town he made sure to wear the red coat and the gloves and muffler that Sano and Uno had made him. He was bundled up tightly in the thick wool. He was so thin that he felt the cold keenly. He ate whatever was served wherever Omi chose to take them. It became a game for him, to see if Nagi would refuse any type of food but whether it was bland chicken or white hot Indian Nagi ate it all without comment.
He still got up in the middle of the night to check on Omi, sliding back the pocket doors. He stood there, his skin the white of bleached bone in the moonlight, and his hair like an inky stain across his face as he shivered softly, trying not to alert Omi to it.
"Get in," Omi said throwing back the blanket and offering his bed to him, it was wide and he didn't sleep well alone, it would be no effort to share his mattress with his bodyguard.
Nagi looked frightened for a moment, and then stepped forward over the tatami with small shuffling steps. Then sat on the edge of the bed and lay down as Omi plumped the blanket over them. "Go to sleep," Omi said laying back on the pillow.

When she had done so the bzou asked her if she was thirsty and she answered that she was. "There is a bottle of wine on the shelf in the kitchen, you may drink it if you are thirsty."
So the girl uncorked the bottle. But a bird appeared and said, "do not drink that wine for it is the blood of your grandmother." And the girl told the bzou what the bird had said.
"It is as spiteful and jealous as the cat," the bzou told her, "take off your other shoe and throw it for it wants the wine for itself." So the girl took off her shoe and threw it at the little bird and watched it fly away.

Nagi shared his bed more often than not for sleep. His breath was sweet and his hair a silken expanse over the cotton pillows. His skin was almost as white as the sheets and there was not much heat generated by his slim sylvan frame. He was tall and slender, with soft pink nipples and white briefs with a grey waistband. Omi knew that this was his grandfather's gift to him, that it was the bribe to make him stay, but Omi knew that, and part of him wanted to stay, to use the young man's beauty the same way that Saijou wanted him to. But Nagi was lying against his pillows, curled tight on his side, showing the elegant curve of his shoulder. Omi also knew that Nagi slept in his bed simply because Omi had asked him to.
Sometimes in the quiet hours between dawn and rising they would talk softly about other things, they talked about the decoration of Tsukiyono castle. Once Nagi told him about the first time that he had candy, offered to him in secret by Farfarello of all people as a begrudging apology. He spoke softly and hesitantly about his time in Austria, in Europe, about running from Farblos, one of Rosenkreuz's death squads. Sometimes he spoke about the art that Crawford showed him, the quiet places in the streets of Venice that Schuldig had shown him where the memories of past years lingered despite the modern world.
Despite the obvious beauty he knew Saijou had chosen Nagi for this, because he knew that the tales of travel, even within Schwarz, would enthral him.

"Are you tired?" the bzou asked, "because your journey was long, if you are tired you may climb into bed with me."
The girl protested that her cape was dirty and she did not want to soil the bed.
"Then take it off," said the bzou, "and throw it because you will not need it anymore." And the girl did.

It didn't take long to discover the things that would enthral Nagi in exchange for their complicity. It didn't take him long to discover how precious it was to know someone with whom he could be himself utterly and totally, someone enough like him that he could tell everything whether it was that he felt smothered by his grandfather's attention or how he felt about the new Nintendo game system.
Nagi, it turned out, loved the opera. They travelled all over Japan following various opera companies. Carmen, The Magic Flute, Madame Butterfly, The Ring Cycle. They stayed in exclusive expensive ryokan under the name Takatori. They almost always shared a futon.
Nagi loved the opera, he would sit spellbound as the soprano's would duel with their voices that sounded like the shimmering of starlight. He would be enthralled by the tenors and their powerful roles. He died with Brynhilde to be born again with Lohengrin.
And through it all Omi cared little for the world renowned performances he frequented – he only watched Nagi.

"And where shall I put my bodice, grandmother?" the girl asked the bzou.
"Throw it on the fire, child, for you won't need it any more." And the girl did.

The water slipped and skimmed off him in shining trails as he stood under the shower. They had been caught in a heavy downpour as they walked through the Geisha district of Gion like tourists. Nagi had stood there, wondering if it was worthwhile to step under the shade of a rooftop and then laughed. "There is no point," he said and he sounded like he was quoting, "in stepping under the eaves as opposed to the main thoroughfare, you will get equally as wet either way." And then he laughed. His laugh was infectious and Omi could not help but take it up with him, and arm in arm, soaked to the skin by the cold thick rain laughing back to their hotel.
Omi had not meant to walk in on Nagi in the shower of the room they shared, he had just wanted a towel, but Nagi stood against the tiles, skin almost as white as porcelain or fine bone china, with the water sheeting off him in thin rivulets like the delta of a river.
His hair was black and cast back, his face raised as if in yearning to the hot stream, his eyes closed and his mouth open. His back was to Omi and he could see the smooth plains of muscle along a thin spine, the splay of his shoulders and the narrow dip of his waist and the dimples in the muscles of his ass. He could see the cleft between ass and thigh where the water pooled, long strong thighs and soft curving calves.
He felt a terrible drying in his mouth and throat. He had thought that Nagi was his friend. He was wrong. He desired him. He desired him utterly.

"And where shall I put my skirt, grandmother?" the girl asked the bzou.
"Throw it on the fire, child, for you won't need it any more." And the girl did.

"And finally, this is your office, Mamoru-sama." Rex said adjusting the line of her blouse to show off more of the pattern of her bra, "as you can see it has everything you might need for the running of Kritiker and if it lacks anything," she leant in to show him the crevice between her breasts better through the gap in her pink blouse, "anything, you mustn't hesitate to let me know and I'll get it for you."
Omi looked at Nagi, who stood so still and solemn in the corner almost imperceptibly shaking his head. "Call me Persia," he said.

"And where shall I put my petticoat, grandmother?" the girl asked the bzou.
"Throw it on the fire, child, for you won't need it any more." And the girl did.

Takatori towers were lush and decorated to the utter limit of fashionable good taste. Every modern and beautiful thing that money could buy decorated his penthouse apartment. It had been Shuichi's but Saijou had had it decorated in a way that he thought would suit his grandson more. There were thick Berber carpets running from room to room. Western antiques stood in every room amongst thickly cushioned chairs and deep Persian rugs.
It felt like a show home and Omi was wary of even putting a cup down on the marble countertops in the kitchen. "It's yours," Nagi said from the doorway, "you can destroy it if you like. The two of us, we could take these things and give them away to the first person that asks if you want."
Omi offered him a smile. "It just," he started.
"Feels like a hotel?" Nagi asked softly, then crossed the room and put his arms around Omi's waist so that he could rest against his shoulder. "We could leave this place, you don't have to live here, we could find the Kitten in the House and throw out whoever lives there and move in, just you and me."
Omi looked up at him, at those eyes that never showed emotion and looked like shattered glass. "Thank you," he said, "for being there for me."
Nagi said nothing, he didn't smile or offer any words he just laid his forehead against Omi's and let him stand there.

"and where shall I put my stockings, grandmother?" The girl asked the bzou.
"Throw it on the fire, child, for you won't need it any more." And the girl did.

Nagi's kisses tasted like snow. They were cold and sharp and blanketed him. When Nagi kissed him he felt like a child beholding their first snowfall, watching it with wonder and then running out into the field to play. He felt like a child enveloped, lying back to make snow angels. Nagi's kisses tasted like snow.

Then naked she climbed into the bed. "Grandmother," she said, "how hairy you are?"
"All the better to keep you warm."

Nagi's caresses always felt like he was holding something back, like he didn't dare lose control in case he destroyed what he touched. Omi wanted him to shatter when he touched him, he wanted to wrest away that hard won control when he had his dick in his hand or in his mouth, or when he had his tongue in his mouth.
Nagi's eyes were like broken blue glass, hard and fragile all at once. Sometimes Omi thought that they were like the stained glass windows of the West and sometimes, just sometimes, he wanted to smash them.

"And, grandmother, what big arms you have."
"All the better to keep you close."

When Omi learned Nagi had a separate apartment he questioned his bodyguard. Nagi just shrugged and said that it was from before, and it didn't really matter because he spent twenty four hours a day with him anyway. He woke with him, ate with him, worked with him and slept with him. Did it matter that he had a bolthole from before? He had bought it outright and it cost him nothing to keep things there rather than moving them about. He took Omi to see it, it was spare with black and white tiled floors and a couch with a blanket thrown over it.
Nagi was quite disingenuous as he sat back on the beaten up couch and undid the belt of his trousers with a smile on his face but his eyes remained frozen, like broken blue glass.

"And, grandmother, what big ears you have."
"All the better to hear you whisper."

Nagi would sit on the couch of his well appointed office drinking green tea and reading old books, sometimes he would smile to himself as he mouthed the words, unaware that there was anyone else in his world, and when Omi looked at him his eyes sparkled with mischief and love and Omi felt it keenly, like a dagger.

"And, grandmother, what golden eyes you have."
"All the better to see your beauty."
And the girl brightened under the flattery.

Omi had begun to suspect that Nagi worked for his grandfather and not for him. It felt like a terrible betrayal when he thought about it, he could feel the jealous sickness in his gut. What if he served his grandfather the way that he served him. What if Saijou also benefited from those snow tasting kisses? What if Saijou learned of the secrets that they spoke of in the quiet of the night.
Omi made a decision then, one kept one's friends close, but bedded one's enemies. He couldn't trust anyone. They all wanted to use and betray him. He would trust no one. He knew Omi was a fool, he would become Mamoru because Mamoru was hard edged, Mamoru was a Takatori and no one would take him for a fool. He wondered briefly if he should have Nagi killed.

"And, grandmother, what a big mouth you have."
"All the better to love you with."

"Omi," Siberian said from the doorway, "I just wanted to say good bye before I left for Germany."
He looked up from his desk. "It's Mamoru," he answered briskly. "Enjoy your trip but do remember, Siberian, that it is a mission and not a pleasure jaunt." Then he lowered his head back to his papers as Ken closed the door behind him.

And thus ends the tale of the girl who carried bread and honey and cream into the forest for her grandmother and met a bzou along the way.